The Nations Will Be Judged
3 “For behold, in those [climactic] days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will gather together all the [Gentile] nations [that were hostile to My people]
And bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the Lord has judged).
And there I will deal with them and enter into judgment with them there
For [their treatment of] My people, My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations,
And [because] they have encroached on My land and divided it up.
“They have also cast lots for My people,
And have traded a boy for a prostitute
And have sold a girl for wine that they may drink.
4 Moreover, what are you to Me, O Tyre and Sidon and all the [five small] regions of Philistia? Will you pay Me back for something [I have supposedly done to you]? Even if you do pay Me back, I will swiftly and speedily return your deed [of retaliation] on your own head.(A) 5 Because you have taken My silver and My gold and have carried My precious treasures to your temples and palaces, 6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the Greeks, so that you may send them far away from their territory, 7 behold, I am going to stir them up from the place where you have sold them [and return them to their land], and I shall return your action [of retaliation] on your own head. 8 Also I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the [a]Sabeans, to a distant nation,” for the Lord has spoken.(B)
Proclaim this among the [pagan] nations:
Prepare a war! Stir up the mighty men!
Let all the men of war come near, let them come up!
Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, “I am strong!”(C)
Hurry and come, all you surrounding nations,
And gather yourselves there;
Bring down, O Lord, Your mighty ones (Your warriors).
Let the nations be stirred [to action]
And come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
For there I will sit to judge and punish
All the surrounding nations.
Put in the sickle [of judgment], for the harvest is ripe;
Come, tread [the grapes], for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for the wickedness [of the people] is great.(D)
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision (judgment)!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision [when judgment is executed].(E)
The sun and the moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
The Lord thunders and roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem [in judgment of His enemies],
And the heavens and the earth tremble and shudder;
But the Lord is a refuge for His people
And a stronghold [of protection] to the children of Israel.(F)
Then you will know and understand fully that I am the Lord your God,
Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem will be holy,
And strangers [who do not belong] will no longer pass through it.
Judah Will Be Blessed
And in that day
The mountains will drip with sweet wine
And the hills will flow with milk;
And all the brooks and riverbeds of Judah will flow with water,
And a fountain will go out from the house of the Lord
To water the [desert] Valley of Shittim.(G)
Egypt will become a waste,
And Edom will become a desolate wilderness,
Because of their violence against the children of Judah,
In whose land they have shed innocent blood.(H)
But Judah shall be inhabited forever
And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
And I shall avenge their blood which I have not avenged,
For the Lord dwells in Zion.
- Joel 3:8 Some archeologists believe this to be the ancient kingdom of Sheba (modern day Yemen). The Sabeans were involved primarily in the lucrative spice trade.